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klefebz

Virtual pets?

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Have any of you played games including virtual pet elements? The ones I remember are Monster Rancher, and Digimon World (the first one).
So, I was thinking about that. What elements would you like to see in such games? Any suggestions on games to see?

Aclarations:
-With virtual pet game I mean any game in wich you have to take care of a living being (feeding, sleep, cleanliness).
-It can have elements from other genres like RPG or adventure.

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I've played a lot of these games and also spent some time thinking about designing one. Are you starting a project to make a pet game?

Eternal Eyes and Azure Dreams, both for PS1, are two of my favorite pet games if you're looking for some to try. Eternal Eyes is a fairly typical linear jRPG except that the hero's identity is as a monster breeder and the combat is tactical turn-based. Azure Dreams is a pet-using version of a rogue game - there's a tower with 100 randomly-generated floors where all the monster combat happens, and each time you go in you have to start at the bottom; you can't reach higher levels until you have leveled-up a monster to be tough enough to keep you alive there. The Harvest Moon series is also an interesting variant - over the course of the game you acquire a dog, a horse, chickens, cows, and sheep (in most versions of the game). Both Azure Dreams and Harvest Moon have a nice "rehabilitate/upgrade the town you live in" dynamic. Back to Nature, Save the Homeland, and Magical Melody are the three best HM versions IMHO, if you want to try one. Another interesting take is Fish Tycoon - it is more about the breeding but you do need to feed the fish and give them medicine.

There are also some MMOs which involve pets. Dofus has a summoner class - it does not capture or breed pets, instead the pets are summon spells which put a pet into combat. The summoner can have several pets out at a time, depending on their equipment, up to a theoretical maximum of 7 or 8. Also in Dofus is a mount capturing and breeding system. In WoW both hunters and warlocks use a single pet in combat as a fundamental part of the class's functionality. Typically the pet functions as a tank while the player character is DD and pet-specific healer. Perfect World International's Venomancer class has a similar dynamic.

For a more story-based game, the Petz Horse Club series have an interesting type of gameplay where the player character acts as a 'horse whisperer', using mouse gestures to tame wild horses. The player also grooms horses and rides them in triathlon-style horse shows, of which there is also a minigame version, and prizes include unlocking alternate saddles and bridles.

- my main preference for a pet game would be one where breeding the creatures is a major part of the gameplay
- I'm also very fond of the "collect em all" dynamic with set completion rewards for both capturing and breeding achievements
- I prefer tactical turn-based combat where you control a small army of pets to other possible types of pet combat. Secondary preference would be an arcade game where you play as the pet, and different types of pets handle differently/have different abilities.

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This is actually a fairly widely discussed topic on these forums; In addition to the two (excellent) PS1 games proposed by S&S, the PS1 actually had a plethora of amazing/excellent monster sim/breeding type games as well as the Gameboy/color.

some of my favourites are:

Jade Coccoon series Again in the original PS1 game; breeding actually produced some radically different looking monsters that were Hybrids of the creatures used to make them; something that to my knowledge has not yet been repeated. Excellent game dynamics.
Monster Rancher/Farm series I love the designs of monsters in this game and the breeding system is dynamic particularly in terms of aesthetic outcomes (plant and tiger produces a tiger with plant features etc.)
Dragon Quest Monster series particularly the first one on the Gameboy Color; it was again another Rogue type with random generated oveworlds/gates; i find these two styles of games actually work quite well together.
Digimon World series; some excellent systems in place for training monsters themselves; my favourite is Digimon World 3; it has a certain charm to it.
Digimon V Pet: these made Tamagotchi and even the Pokewalker look like feeble toys; so simple yet highly addicitve.

obviously Pokemon is up there; but we all know of that and how successful it has been; i'm not a fan of the breeding; its pretty boring; affecting the stats is nice and all but you can achieve any new looking pokemon or hybrids which I think is a bit of a shame; A dragon type with Salamence and Tyranitar features would be pretty immense.

For me it's all about looks and numbers give me dynamic changes and lots of nice states to beef up and I'm happy.

I am also in the proccess of Designing and developing a relatively simple monster sim style app with retro graphics.

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I have iQuarium on my iPhone. I had a fish for about a week but then started to resent that fact I had to feed it and take care of it otherwise it would die (!). So now I have a dead fish in a tank :p.

These things for me are little trinkets it's fun to play around with from time to time. Personally I don't like the compulsory element of losing your stuff (the pet), if you don't play with them regularly.

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Oh, good point made there; I definetly don't think there should be a permanent death looming overhead; in my opinion that's too much; a simple penalty is enough like lowering happiness/some other stat.

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What are "aclarations?" It doesn't seem to be a real word, yet it's used quite often on the web. What word does it come from?

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